Chicago Bears Draft Scout: Minkah Fitzpatrick

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Minkah Fitzpatrick
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Minkah Fitzpatrick /
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Could Minkah Fitzpatrick fall to the Chicago Bears at pick number eight?

Minkah Fitzpatrick is one of the most notable names to come into the 2017 NFL Draft. From the moment he stepped foot on Alabama campus he became a noted name on the defense. On a unit where many wait years to start, Fitzpatrick came in for a package as a freshman, and put up 45 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions, earning Freshman All-SEC honors. The following season an injury to Eddie Jackson saw Fitzpatrick move into more of a safety role. Fitzpatrick saw a bump in interceptions go to six as a result. As a junior Fitzpatrick moved around and finished with 60 tackles, eight for loss with an interception and a 1.5 sacks.

Can he fit in a secondary with his former teammate Jackson on the Chicago Bears?


Height: 6’1″

Weight: 201 pounds

Age: 20

School: Alabama


Minkah Fitzpatrick is a swiss army knife. As mentioned he was excellent as a free safety when Eddie Jackson went down due to injury. However, Minkah Fitzpatrick spent a lot of his college career in the box. He lines up in a “star” position in the Alabama defense. He is essentially in the box, as a pass defending linebacker.

Fitzpatrick also plays in the slot. He can defend slot receivers, running backs and tight ends from these two spots on the field. Fitzpatrick is natural blitzing off of the edge from this spot, and can fight off blockers to be a factor in the running game.

On the last play, Fitzpatrick was lined up on the outside. While he did not do it often, Fitzpatrick did see some time out there. There are projections that he may be transferring to the outside in the NFL, similar to Jalen Ramsey.

If a team were smart, they would use him a variety of ways. He has size, speed, and footwork that all give him a great chance to translate his skills in the NFL. He also has the awareness, understanding and instincts to react quick. On the play below, he is sent in motion, which changed his role. On the fly he picks up a the receiver going over the middle and closes with speed for nothing after the catch. Notice how light on his feet he stays.

Fitzpatrick has great footwork, which is another reason teams believe he can translate to cornerback in the NFL. While working from the slot in the  play below, watch his footwork towards the sidelines as the he changes direction and uses his length to contest the pass.

Fitzpatrick also has the deep speed to contend passes down the sideline. It cuts off but in the play below you can see Fitzpatrick stride for stride with his opponent down the field.

Fitzpatrick has solid change of direction ability and brings effort and talent against the run. There is a lot to bring with the talent of Fitzpatrick, and it will be on defensive coordinators to use him properly.


The big question with Fitzpatrick is how the team will use him. Everything about him as a cornerback in the NFL is based on projection. With that said, he would be much more comfortable in a zone defense overall, but definitely better on the outside when starting out. While he has deep speed, he has never played press corner at a high level.

However, at the same time there are times where missed tackles become an issue for Fitzpatrick. There is also the question of what the value of a player who defends slot receivers, tight ends and runnings backs is.